crime

Body of newborn boy found floating in Tokyo river

52 Comments

Police found the body of a newborn boy floating in the Kyunagawa River in Tokyo's Edogawa Ward on Thursday afternoon.

According to police, they received a call just after 4 p.m. from a middle school student who reported that something resembling a doll was floating in the river. Authorities arrived to discover the body of the infant with the umbilical cord still attached. The body had no visible injuries.

Police believe about five days to one week had passed since the baby died.

© News reports

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52 Comments
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not surprised.

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Babies burried in flower pots, babies floating in rivers... Please stop the sad news, please stop the crimes... Today is so black day with all these sad news.

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Father was hated, Mother was scared, the Kid ended up being tossed in a river.... case will never get solved.

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Hmm, there's no red date today on my calendar but it appears today is "National Horrific Crime Day". The best we can hope for with this story is that the child was stillborn and the mother wanted to keep the whole deal secret.

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What on earth is happening to this country??? Head found in river. A Skull on a golf course. A new born baby (with umbilical cord still attached) floating in the river. I wish my voice was loud enough so all the Japanese could hear me say WTF is going on in this country? I asked this last night in my conversation class and all i got were folded arms, people leaning back into their chairs and a variety of elongated "saaaaaa".

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Hmm, there's no red date today on my calendar but it appears today is "National Horrific Crime Day".

Black Friday.

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ratpack.... they take it personally and I stopped mentioning baby murders to my wife recently.

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this may get the chop. I believe lack of empathy and compassion in the culture plays a major role in this....

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Who dumps a baby in a river; even if he was stillborn?! Have some respect for human life!! I hope the junior school student didn't become aware it was a real baby and not a doll...

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I believe lack of empathy and compassion in the culture plays a major role in this....

I would say that increasing financial hardship is the real culprit.

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Damn it! This seems to be a daily occurrence here. WTH!?

Don't they still have those baby drop-off spots in some hospitals? I thought Tokyo had one. This is truly sad.

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...There are no words.

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poor baby... another victim of those irresponsible parents....

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i would throw myself away in the river rather than throwing my baby in the cold river.. for whatever reasons this mother (and father) had, this is unacceptable, and i just cant believe people do this to their own baby..

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fishy - you are human, the people who did this are not....

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No worries, the rights of infants are non-existent here, so a simple admission and apology from mom will close the file..... As for the cause, the number of totally brainless 20-somethings reproducing is on the rise....education, culture, and respect for everything and everyone are in the toilet, and this is the result.

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Geeezzz...nothing really more to say. RIP

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This does not shock me because when you compare Japan history and Japan society today on children there has not been any changes in their beliefs in regards to children. There are a lot of manga and anime that contains explicit/violent scenes in regards to children. Along with that, child porn is accepted in Japan because people can have possession of them. In the daily news there are stories like a baby found in a river, a infant murder by his mother boyfriend, a single mother abusing her toddler boy. Japan society is warped where children are concern. There is no excuse whatsoever for killing helpless and innocent infants, toddlers, and boys/girls. Japan is warp when it comes to murders. These crimes are heartless, inhumane, and heinous.

Until Japan change for the better, infants and toddlers deaths will keep rising. Since Japan do not believe in moral, people will keep doing whatever they want without any guilt or have any conscious. Japan is lacking the laws to prevent infant and children deaths when Japan is an industrial nation.

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Amongst advanced/rich countries, Japan has the lowest rate for women on the pill, and the highest rate for abortions. Maybe now enough dead babies have been found in rivers and bins for the government to start addressing the issue of preventing unwanted pregnancies?

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So what's with the constant Japanese society bashing? Look around the international news sites on the Internet, people, and you'll find no end of incredibly saddening tales of child abuse and death. Accidental, unfit, and downright twisted parents can be found everywhere. If this wasn't such a terrible subject, I'd laugh at comments like this:

Until Japan change for the better, infants and toddlers deaths will keep rising. Since Japan do not believe in moral, people will keep doing whatever they want without any guilt or have any conscious.

Crackers

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Just how do the authorities who found the body sleep at night? This is gruesome. Let's hope the authorities have access to counseling. Find the person(s) who did this.

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As for the cause, the number of totally brainless 20-somethings reproducing is on the rise....education, culture, and respect for everything and everyone are in the toilet, and this is the result.

SendaiOzeki, I don't believe it has anything to do with age. I had my daughter at 20 and have never had any issues with raising my child.I know a few other girls around the same age who are more responsible than those 10 years our senior.

Poor baby.

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Amongst advanced/rich countries, Japan has the lowest rate for women on the pill, and the highest rate for abortions.

What you didn't address here is that abortion has been an accepted form of birth control in Japan since... forever, essentially. And a smear campaign against the pill in the 80s kept it from gaining wide support; it took over 40 years to get it approved for sale here.

So what's going on here is that someone got pregnant and was too afraid to try and seek out an abortion, or someone had the baby and abruptly had a change of heart about wanting it. It's possible a guy could have gotten rid of his girlfriend's baby after she had it, against her wishes. There are a lot of things that could have possibly happened.

Moderator: Readers, abortion is not relevant to this discussion.

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this is the future of Japan, welcome to the New Generation....

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@Baibaikin,

I stand by my comment. I have not read about an infant body in a river in the States today nor ever. Correct me if I am wrong if such a case exist in the States. I do understand that infant deaths happens in rare instances but not the way it happens in Japan. These incidents are becoming too common on JT.

Moderator: Readers, please stay on topic. References to similar crimes in other countries are not relevant.

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Poor baby

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skipbeat, it's quite obvious that your opinion of how Japanese people view children is a bit "warped" because you base it on manga and the media. How about interviewing some real Japanese mothers.

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Amongst advanced/rich countries, Japan has the lowest rate for women on the pill, and the highest rate for abortions. Maybe now enough dead babies have been found in rivers and bins for the government to start addressing the issue of preventing unwanted pregnancies?

Getting the pill in Japan is about as easy as getting illicit narcotics.... Maybe a re-think is in order!

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SendaiOzeki, I don't believe it has anything to do with age. I had my daughter at 20 and have never had any issues with raising my child.I know a few other girls around the same age who are more responsible than those 10 years our senior. Poor baby. Clearly you were not brainless at 20! I didn't mean to imply that young parenthood was the cause. What I meant to say is that the Japanese youth are getting dumber and dumber every year, and this is the result. This great culture and country is dissolving into thin air. Irresponsibility is on the rise. It has always been true that there are more and less responsible parents, but the ratio in changing for the worse here!

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It is truely distressing to hear stories like this but as Kazan has mentioned it could have been due to something else then the mother's wishes. If more cases like this happen, I wonder if the government will re-evaluate their stance on sex education, single mother support, domestic abuse and other relavent social programs that may help someone in such an overwhelming situation. Sadly orphanages in Japan have such a stigma about them that some mothers would dread having to put a child into that system. Only once there are more avenues for people to make smart body choices and have social support when needed will we see cases like this decrease.

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and it was a junior-high age boy who found the body? he must have been traumatized.. i read another article (sankei) and it said that the body was about 50cm long and 1.9kg which indicates that the baby was probably a little premature?? most newborn babies weigh somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5kg or so.. the mother delivered the baby somewhere else and just brought him/her to the river and threw him/her out? i'm shocked..

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Getting the pill in Japan is about as easy as getting illicit narcotics

Illicit narcotics are that easy to get, huh?

Some 30 years ago when the Pill was still 'not allowed' in Japan I went to my local gynecologist and told him I wanted birth control. Without so much as a twitch he checked my blood pressure (and maybe a few other things, can't remember), wrote me out a prescription and sent me on my way. Since then the Pill has been made 'legal', while folks are still getting hounded for minuscule amounts of druggy stuff.

We're expecting an addition to the family soon, so stories like this hit a very tender spot. Poor baby....I can't imagine any woman would go through the whole nine months and then just throw her baby away.

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the body was about 50cm long and 1.9kg which indicates that the baby was probably a little premature??

I think 50 cm is round about average, isn't it? If the baby has been dead a week the body could be partially desiccated, that would account for the low weight. God, what an awful image.

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after i had my second baby, i went to a clinic and asked for prescription pills and even though i got what i wanted, i got the vibe that's like "you're married and already in your 30s, what do you need birth control pills for?", it was like when you have kids and in your 30s, you shouldn't be making love to your husband anymore.. after awhile, i felt uncomfortable and decided to just get IUD (Intra Uterine Device) that way i don't have to see the doctor every several months.. women should be more responsible and know that it is not just men's responsibility to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Not just in Japan, but all over the world -- also, pills and IUD should be cheaper so that those unemployed women (i've noticed that many women who abuse their kids or/and kill their babies are unemployed or from lower income families) can afford more reliable birth control.

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This is so hard to write about but it needs to be understood. We WERE taught about not getting pregnant.. that an unwanted pregnancy when you are too young will ruin your future - and condoms are easy to find in many many places but it is the boys who buy them; size is a personal issue for boys and 'good girls' do not need condoms, and what should a girl do - buy some of every size? As if just being in the condom shop or being seen buying them from the hanbaiki did not destroy your reputation enough... The 'pill' only became legal in Nihon in 1999 and it is something that a girl must ask for from her doctor - with her mother standing there. The pamphlets are full of warnings of the health risks of using the pill, and if you use the pill then every 3 months you must return to the doctor for a pelvic examination and testing for STDS.. because the fear is that if you have the pill then you will not make the boys wear condoms and so you will get a STD. Girls who get pregnant too young or out of marriage only have abortion as an option and if they need to hide it from their family and friends then that abortion may well be performed in some alley or hidden place where no doctor ever came.

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cleo - yeah, 50cm is about average, but the weight (1.9kg) is the reason why i thought the baby could have been premature.. but like you said, the body was probably desiccated, so yeah, you are right.

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Penelope: Exactly!

cleo: Congrats on your baby!!

'and what should a girl do - buy some of every size?'--Hmmm...if a girl is single and has multiple partners, then yeah, she probably should have a couple of different sizes of condoms on hand. (as I learned in Girl Guides--Be Prepared!) Really, what's worse? A few minutes of embarrassment at the drug store or sex shop or a pregnancy that you didn't want? And if a girl has a steady partner then they should discuss birth control options. If they decide on condoms, then get the guy to buy them or she can find out which kind he likes and buy them herself.

It's really unfortunate that the pill has gotten such a bad reputation here. No woman wants to face the possibility of having an abortion and being on the pill is an effective and relatively safe method of contraception. It should be cheap and accessible. Period.

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there has been a total run on skeletons, heads, torsos and bodies and now this newborn. what` going on in safety japan.

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Really, what's worse? A few minutes of embarrassment at the drug store or sex shop or a pregnancy that you didn't want?

You'd think, wouldn't you? I read somewhere once that there's a certain mindset whereby if they're not prepared silly young girls can almost convince themselves that they're not 'doing it' - until they get pregnant.

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That's just sick. The mother should just put the child up for adoption if she can't care for him.

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I hope they find the person responsible for this and that he/she meets a similar fate... its only justice.

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Oh dear. Poor kid.

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Poor kid. RIP. It'll be VERY tough to find out who did this or to whom the child belongs, unless they have some CSI-style DNA computer with the parents' database in it (assuming no one comes forward with claims their child is suddenly missing). Poor kid who found the body, too. Especially after that many days in the water.

And is it me, or are there not a LOT of reports of bodies and body parts in rivers or being found in public places lately?

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These daily reports of infancide in Japan are incredibly disturbing. At lease the baby is now at peace. And Lunaix, your comment is almost as equally disturbing.

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In America where such things as reputation and family honor do not have much meaning outside of the home or your close group of friends, and where buying birth control is considered acting responsibly and can be done discreetly or openly bragged about as a way of claiming you are acting 'adult', it must seem hard to imagine that there would be any problems with using the pill in Nihon. Girls in Nihon have no privacy to get the pill, the assumption in Nihon is being on the pill = promiscuous.. and if it becomes known in school then they are branded as sluts. The boys follow them and act crudely and the girls avoid them. The doctors mostly warn AGAINST the pill.. it is a different world than America. All Good boys DO buy condoms... but only bad girls do - THAT is the social bias in Nihon. If i can find some way to explain it.. a girl who buys condoms or goes on the pill may as well be sewing a scarlet letter on her chest. Stop expecting young children to act with the same wisdom as much more experienced adults. Most of the abortions involve young girls.. 14-19.. who are both pressured to have sex and equally expected to hide it and not appear to be anything but pure and innocent or you will never be worthy of a husband! If you never were a 16yr old girl then you really are not expected to understand. Just keep thinking "Well they should think and act and live as you do in your country" or make a SICK joke about it being your dead infant floating in the river... i feel so sorry for that baby - and i also feel so sorry for the girl who gave birth to that baby.. and i feel sorry for all of the commentators who only look from their own direction and have no perspective of just how deep this problem goes into Nihonjin society.

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Mikanojo: Actually, I read that women between the ages of 20 and 24 had the greatest number of abortions while only 8% of abortions were done on women under the age of twenty.(Japan Times) So these are not girls we are talking about but grown women who should be taking responsibility for their bodies. Abortion and disposing of a baby after it is born are NOT forms of birth control.

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@dolphingirl.. the abortions that you speak of are those that are officially reported by the medical profession. They are the abortions performed legally by doctors in clinics and hospitals. Those are not the source of the dead infants found in the rivers and gomiire.

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@dolphingirl.. the abortions that you speak of are those that are officially reported by the medical profession. They are the abortions performed legally by doctors in clinics and hospitals. Those are not the source of the dead infants found in the rivers and gomiire. Mikanojo

I agree this is about a disgusting crime. How gross!

Moderator: Readers, once again we remind you that the abortion issue is not relevant to this discussion.

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Mikanojo: You've got a point there. But we still cannot assume that the mother of this child was a 'girl'. It seems just as likely that the mother was a woman. Anyway, thank you for your added insight on this topic. Obviously it is a problem with some deep roots and won't change overnight.

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Shame, shame on such mother. Will she be prosecuted, or excused due to mental illnes?

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Wow Dolphingirl! Wish I`d been a member of YOUR Girl Guide group! We only had safety pins and string in our pockets!!!

But seriously - I hope I am not speaking out of turn here, but one thing I have noticed both from living here and from reading the opinions of both foreigners and Japanese on a wide variety of subjects - I get the impression that westerners are far more concerned with their own internal belief system - guilt, morals, fear of eternal damnation and what have you. Japanese - and please correct me if I am wrong - don`t seem to have such an entrenched internal belief system but rather are concerned with what society will think of them. Our western pressures seem to come more from within - christian-based religious influence maybe? - whereas Japanese culture comes more from societal "group" pressure. I see this played out in behvaiour not just in this situation but in many other areas of society too.

If this is the case, then awful and sad stories like this are no great surprise really. I agree with what another poster said - Japan by no means has the monopoly on terrible crimes against children - but it is very rare to read such stories as newborns being dumped in rivers overseas. We seem to have more "abandonment" stories, where for example a newborn is left on the steps of a hospital.

From our perspective as "westerners" this is a disgusting crime - but I wonder what the Japanese perspective would be? Mikanojo - I don`t know if you actually are Japanese (and if you are your English is excellent) but your point of view was a very interesting read.

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Any update to this story? Did the person get busted yet?

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